Guide on How to Use MVP Lebron to Control the Game

MVP Lebron is amazing. The following is a guide on how to use him to control the game and win tough games in RTTP higher seeds.
 
MVP Lebron

LeBron is the best tempo controller in the entire game. 
 
This comes down to a few things:
 
1. He has the best combination of strength (89), post control (89), and playmaking (88 pass accuracy, 90 pass IQ) in the game. 
2. He has perhaps the best combination of badges in the game. 36 base badges! Great personality badges such as defensive anchor, floor general, hardened, alpha dog, fierce competitor...what more could you ask for?
3. Post scoring is virtually unstoppable vs same position opponents. He has all of the post scoring badges in the game and his post scoring stats are insane for a SF.
4. Great jumper and finishing animations. His 3 ball animation in particular is really easy to nail online.
5. He can shoot very well, unlike his other versions.
 
Badges and Shoes
Lebron already has many of the important badges needed to optimize his stats (especially all of the post scoring badges). Anything added to his already great skillset is just icing on the cake. Here are my recommended additional badges for him:
 
1. Post Lockdown Defender
2. Erased 
3. Brick Wall (You'll see why below...Lebron is the best screening wingman in the game)
4. Screen outlet (You'll see why below...Lebron is the best screening wingman in the game)
5. Scrapper
6. Limitless Range (accompanies the Pick n Fade with LeBron as the screen man amazingly well...some opponents also sag off of Lebron and you can pop a nice long 3 in their faces)
 
I did a lot of animation tests with LeBron, and concluded that his dribbling animations are kind of slow and it just simply isn't worth adding dribbling badges to him. He's not going to break anyone's ankles by spamming killer crossovers or behind the backs.
I also considered Offensive Crasher, but LeBron will be shooting from distance half of the time and finishes most of his close range shots (no need for rebound), so having this badge wasn't worth it when compared to the other options.
 
As far as shoes goes, I'd go for the Post Fade shoes or Speed shoes. Either one will help his game out a lot. I personally put a +9 post fade on him for him to boss others in the post. Another great suggestion (credit QNo) is a ball control shoe which will get him over the 86 rating hump and give him boosts in some dribbling animations!
 
Abuse the Post
The key to playing with him is to play like the Cavs did last year in the finals. If its not a transition bucket off a quick miss or steal, just take the ball, take your sweet time, and stroll it up the court with him. And when you reach your opponents half, just calmly proceed to back your guy down. Don't forget to call an iso or post play when doing this, otherwise the post will be extremely crowded. You need the space.
 
Lebron's 89 strength is far and away the highest out of any SG/SF in the game. Plus, he comes with every single post scoring badge. This means he is absolutely unstoppable and you WILL get to the basket within 3 seconds by doing this. There is no other SG/SF who is near strong enough to stop him. From here, you can do drop steps, spin move cheese, post fades, hooks, up and unders, you name it. If you execute this correctly, your FG percentage should be at least 60%. There is no SF or SG in the game that stands a chance at defending this. I highly recommend some of the post move tutorials you can find on youtube - they are awesome!

Post Playmaking
As soon as your opponent adjusts and brings double teams, starts to control his center, or switches to zone, etc., you can start dishing out those dimes to wide open shooters. In fact, one of the cheesiest things you can do is to back down all the way to the basket and draw the opposing center to you. They just do a quick small pass to your own center for a clean dunk. Another cheese thing you can do (this time in transition) is to purposely locate the smallest defender and start backing him down. This will create mismatches and often the shoddy AI will have LeBron's main defender come help out too. This equals to an easy open 3 dish to your PG.
 
Also, I'm sure you have all posted up and held triangle/Y. This sends a perimeter teammate for a cheese run to the basket, and its even better with Lebron drawing all the attention. :)
 
Finally, having a playbook with good post iso plays is great and will do even more to helping this succeed (although you can do it with just a simple ISO play every time).
 
Pick and Roll: As both a Handler and Screener
 A really underrated aspect of Lebron's game is that he can act as a really good screen man. His 89 strength makes him a better screener than your traditional Pick and roll/fade big man such as Anthony Davis, Dirk Nowitzki, etc. If you add the Brick Wall and Screen Outlet badges to the Pick and Roll Maestro badge he comes with, he can be a nightmare to defend against.
 
Here are some general tips using Lebron in the PnR game:
1. Using LeBron as a screener gives your opponent less time to set up - Lebron will get there within 1-2 seconds. This is much better than slower big  men who have to come in from the paint....they take 3-5 seconds to get in position for a screen.
2. Defending Lebron on the fade or roll is very difficult, as he can take the shot, finish, or make a play to an open teammate. Or he can transition into another PnR, this time as the handler.
3. You can use "fake screens" and abuse the triangle/Y button. Call LBJ for a screen and instead do a quick handoff and press triangle/Y to flush your PG in for cheese layup. Or, send LBJ back with the same flush for a jam. This works quite often and can really confuse your opponent.
4. Lebron on fades is just ridiculous. He stonewalls his guy and then hits 3 point bombs like no other. The Limitless Range badge really helps here as well.
5. You can use Lebron as a screen man, fade to Lebron, and set another PnR with him as the ball handler. This is extremely difficult to defend and often causes defenses to leave men open as they scramble to cover everything.
6. Eventually, your opponent may start leaving LeBron open deep when he's the ball handler on a PnR. Just pop a 3 in his face with the Limitless Range badge. Wink
 
In real life, using LeBron as the roll man (with Wade as the handler) was one of the Heat's go-to plays when the going got tough. He's doing it to great effect in Cleveland as well.
 
One of my money plays is to have Dr. J (SG) be the ball handler and James (SF) be the Roll/Fade man. They stand next to each other near the baseline in 4-1 spacing and the screen sets up in half a second. This alone can drive people nuts online - I've gotten a lot of cheese baseline dunks or corner 3's from this.

MVP LBJ as a "Stretch 4"
With many teams now operating with a "stretch 4" (ie. Durant, Paul George, and other SF's at PF), MVP Lebron is actually the best stretch 4 in the game. He has the speed and defense to keep up with any perimeter stretch 4's, the perimeter shooting to rain from outside, and the strength to manhandle them with post moves and not get bullied on defense.
 
Although I prefer him at SF, I have actually played LBJ at PF to great results (namedly since my Diamond AD is on the auction block). Here are my tips for using him here:
1. If you are up against another stretch 4, abuse the post. No stretch 4 has the strength to stop MVP LBJ.
2. If you are against a weaker PF such as Davis/Nowitzki, you can also operate in the post. You'll be able to back them down. These PF's aren't as quick as stretch 4's and have weak perimeter defense, so you can also drive in on them from the perimeter and rain down outside shots.
3. If you are against a traditional PF, you can run circles around them, abuse Pick and Fades, and rain in perimeter shots. You wont have to worry about getting bullied down low either. MVP LBJ is the only version of Lebron that has both strength and shooting, so he can play all roles as a stretch 4.
4. You might want to include the Offensive Crasher badge instead of the Limitless Range badge if you want to put LBJ exclusively at the PF position.
 
Building a Team Around LBJ
In the starting 5, I like to have at least 1 good ball handler/playmaker aside from LeBron and at least 2-3 long distance shooting options. On the bench, I like to have another ball handler and at least 3 more long distance shooters. Lastly, having a slasher/finisher who can also shoot is a big bonus.
 
PG - I recommend surrounding Lebron with a point guard with great handles, playmaking, and shooting skills. Kyrie, Curry, and CP3 are all great examples.
SG - I recommend a straight up sniper in this position. Players like rewards Hamilton/Mullin are fantastic. A hybrid player who can finish and shoot is also good - such as MVP Dr. J, Moments Lavine, or TBT Vince Carter.
SF - Best position for LBJ to execute everything from above (Post up weaker men, do PnR as both handler and screener). Don't move him from here.
PF - I recommend a stretch 4 who can rebound and shoot. Kevin Love, AD, Nowitzki are all great.
C - I recommend a paint dominator with a decent midrange shot. Cousins, M, Gasol, and MVP Chamberlain are awesome here.
Bench - Another PG with handles/shooting, more snipers, and a backup paint dominator.
 
Tempo Control - Your Equalizer to 2k's "Equalizer"
Tempo control is often overlooked online and is critical for stopping cheese and momentum swings. I was so surprised to see how effective just taking time walking the ball upcourt, backing your opponent down, and taking 10-20 seconds to score can really stop momentum swings when they are about to happen. Taking the time to run multiple pick plays in one possession also works very well. It really helps to slow the game down ad neutralize any "Equalizer" BS that 2k often throws at you.
 
I just finished my first ever 10-0 season in seed 1 utilizing this playstyle. Edit: I have had another 10-0 season and 10-1 season since writing this. This is anecdotal proof that this method does indeed work.
 
This method can also be done well with the current Lebron and DR Lebron (although you sacrifice shooting). With TBT Lebron, his strength is only 84 and makes this approach much less effective. You wont be able to back down everyone in the game, and even if you do it takes much longer to reach the basket.
 
That's why MVP Lebron is so good. He is so versatile and can control the entire game with his presence. You can play real life basketball and beat the cheesers in top seeds online. I've done it and you can do it too!

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